Jun 25, 2011

Of HTML and Blogger: Here Be Dragons.

The legendary dragon Bloggogg (Blogger) and his minions Facebook, Twitter and AddThis
The legendary Bloggogg and his devil-spawn

My experience with HTML is extremely limited. I like to figure things out, but this is my blog and it's mine and it's wonderful (to me) and I'M TERRIFIED OF MESSING IT UP REALLY BAD. I swear I've backed up my blog template a platypillion times.

Also, getting something to almost work drives me up a spider-covered volcano of incapacitating OCD-like frustration. I will work on it for days instead of writing new posts... (hem hem) and then I get behind and don't post anything for a week. Sorry. D=

But such was the process of trying to add sharing and Facebook "like" buttons to my blog.

Before I started this blog, my only knowledge of HTML was from grade 7 computers class when we created our own webpages and published them on the school's intranet. Mine looked like this... only worse, because instead of a cartoon the picture was a grainy scan of my student ID card.

Home     About Me     Links     Here I wrote something about myself. It doesn't really matter what, because it was almost wholly illegible. It had random bold and italics in order to prove I knew how to do them and the text was centered because our teacher said it looked better that way.

Our teacher was wrong. Large paragraphs of centered text ooze of visual barf and eye-seizures. They're slightly worse than using two spaces after periods, but not quite as bad as publishing in a monospaced font like Courier New.

But I digress.

I discovered AddThis last week and wanted to add its fancy buttons to all my posts... so people could like them and share them and stalk them. *cough* But AddThis didn't want to co-operate and Blogger made things difficult.

Working with HTML was as bad as trying to edit an essay written in another language... but without the help of using Google translate.

I finally got everything to work. I may or may not have stayed up until 4 am.

There are two things I'm getting at here...


If you have a Blogger blog, want to do something like what I did (or anything seen on this blog actually) and happen to think I could be helpful for whatever crazy reason...

Go ahead and ask! I like helping! Also, emails make me happy.

Knight in Shining Armour fighting the fire-breathing Blogger dragon, Bloggogg the Legendary.
I did this so you don't have to. I'm a hero!


See those ohh-so-shiny Facebook/Twitter/SiteThingy buttons? The colourful ones that sit tantalizingly at the top and bottom of every post? The ones that I spent HOURS and HOURS fiddling with to make sure they worked perfectly? Yeah.

A lot of keyboard sweat and eyestrain tears went into those and it would suck bagels if they all just sat there.

Click them. Please?


  1. Good post. I started my blog a couple weeks ago and I don't now anything about HTML, so I tried out like 30 different templates, but whenever I applied them, the formatting looked terrible. I ended up just reverting to the default blog template, which sucks because it looks so generic.

    I had the same problem with that facebook "like" button tool on here too. I'm guessing it has less to do with us, and more to do with whoever wrote the script.

    Anyhow, good post. Glad to see I'm not the only one trying to figure stuff out. Your page looks pretty cool, though.

  2. Thanks, Noah!

    Everything here was built off of the default template... I like its "genericness" because it's sort of a blank canvas. =)

  3. I must inform you that defenestrating me would not likely blossom a healthy blog-ship between the two of us, but I digress. Allow me to introduce myself. The name, for now, is ib. I run the hobbit blog. I couldn't help but to notice your usage of "incapacitating OCD-like frustration" and being one that suffers from said affliction, I naturally became curious. So much so that I decided to return the favor, not because, but because.

  4. Lol, ib, your comment is one of the most original I've seen :)

    But yes! This has been my last 2 days! Stupid HTML and interweb not telling me how to magically work everything... >> I'm rethinking the class I signed up for next semester.... graduate level programming. I can't even do basic HTML, what was I thinking!? D:

  5. I know what you mean. My knowledge of html and css comes from a couple of years ago when I was really bored for a month or so and decided to learn them. Sure I got them fairly well, but I haven't used any of that knowledge, at all, since then. So it's an understatement to say I'm a little rusty.

    There are 2 things I want to have on my blog and although I have found them in several versions already coded, they're not exactly what I want. So yes, I need to rewrite the whole thing. Which means to re-learn everything I knew. Fun times.

  6. I used to be really into HTML and CSS and took a lot of summer courses because I'm a dork like that.
    But I'm still not good at it.
    And it hurts my brain. D:

    So I applaud you for getting it all done correctly. (:

  7. @Ib:
    Nice to meet you, and never fear! Since you did, after all, comment, I have no intentions of defenestration. You make me curious as well. While I do have a case of moderate perfectionism, I doubt any of my tendencies are truly OCD.

    Thanks for following, even if I might not have entirely understood the explanation of your rationale. =P

    Eeeek indeed! Thanks to taking robotics in Jr. High I know only the most basic fundamentals of programming; I dropped the course soon after we stopped playing with lego. Though we did make an awesome dancing disco bunny that one time... XD

    I know just the feeling! I often find several solutions that are *close* to what I want.. but NOOOO, I want it just. so. What are the things you're looking to add?

    (On a side note, in the week since I figured the whole buttons thing out, AddThis has since enabled an easy-peasy widget for Blogger that does everything in one click. GRRRRR.)

    Wow. How were the courses? I've actually been considering taking some sort of formal lessons or something... because so far my strategy has been "fiddle with it and experiment until something works; only look up what I need to know." Hahaha.

  8. "Working with HTML was as bad as trying to edit an essay written in another language... but without the help of using Google translate."

    Hehehe, my friend said a similar comment when he was describing his javascript class to another one of our friends. I thought that was pretty funny, and strangely correct.

    I on the other hand dabble in web design. I know all of the important ingredients of HTML and CSS, but lack the artistic creativity to put it to good use.

    It's a cruel world. And Blogger doesn't let me use PHP. I wonder if Javascript works.

    I actually haven't tried making a custom layout for Blogger. Just take a default theme, slap on a related background, and my creativity is at it's peak.

    But you've got me in that web design mood again. Curse you.

    I'm obligated to follow you now.

    But those other buttons. I don't use those. I can't convince myself of the importance of twitter 'tweets' or facebook 'likes'.

    You'll have to settle for a follow.

  9. Oh wow, Murphy's laws in action! I bet if it would have taken you a month to get it done, blogger would have added it the next day..

    I want one of those 'you might also like' but without thumbnails, just text. I need to look more into this, as I got one that seems like what I want, but doesn't work. Also a labels cloud but one that has the number of posts with the label and they also increase size depending on the number.

    All I found need serious tweaks. But lucky at least I understand what the codes say. Html is similar to french like that, I can understand them, but can't speak them.

  10. Oh Ellen, why deny yourself of the excuse to be eccentric? OCD is all the rage.

  11. I feel so old since when I was in school we learned early computer programing. Pascal. ooo fun.

  12. I'm happy with my blog layout at the moment but I'm creating a new website now and it is frustrating!!

  13. Haha those buttons are a headache! alphabetalife.blogspot.com

  14. @IB: All the rage... and all cliché. For those who, yunno, don't actually have it, that is. =P

    @Copyboy: And now I feel young and ignorant!

    @Kirsty: I kind of wish I could lay out my blog once and be happy with it forever and ever AMEN. But no, things (including me) are always changing. =/

    @Jessica: Maybe someday the +1 button will be all we'll ever need! *wishful thinking*

  15. This is really nice. thank you for sharing.


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